JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has lauded the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme for exposing and enabling Jamaicans to adopt expertise in new areas, while heightening their cultural awareness of the Asian country.
  • Of great significance, he said, has been the participants’ ability to emulate the disciplined work ethic synonymous with the Japanese.
  • Rev. Thwaites informed that the programme is among several established initiatives on which Jamaica and Japan have collaborated.

Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, has lauded the Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Programme for exposing and enabling Jamaicans to adopt expertise in new areas, while heightening their cultural awareness of the Asian country.

Of great significance, he said, has been the participants’ ability to emulate the disciplined work ethic synonymous with the Japanese.

The Minister was speaking at a symposium to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the JET programme in Jamaica, at the Medallion Hall Hotel in St. Andrew on October 21.

Rev. Thwaites informed that the programme is among several established initiatives on which Jamaica and Japan have collaborated.

“We place great value on the technical assistance provided through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to, and the bilateral agreements (initiated for), the education sector,” he said.

Areas covered under the bilateral agreements include: the provision of a Mathematics specialist to partner with Ministry officers in the Core Curriculum Unit, and assistance to several institutions in providing special education to challenged students.

Meanwhile, Chargé d’Affaires at the Embassy of Japan in Jamaica, Hiromoto Oyama, lauded the participation of Jamaicans in the programme, totaling 300, including 107 currently engaged, since its inception in 2000.

“They (have) made a significant contribution to improve foreign language education and to develop international exchanges at the grassroots level. Thus, they have successfully fostered ties between Japanese youth and Jamaican youth over the years,” he said.

The Chargé d’Affaires emphasized that the services of Jamaicans are in high demand, resulting in the programme being expanded this year to accommodate 40 participants, compared to eight in 2000.

Mr. Oyama attributed JET’s continued success to support provided by Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller, as also Japan’s Prime Minister, His Excellency Shinzo Abe, who endorsed the engagement during his visit to the island in October.

The symposium also featured panel discussions on several topics involving former JET participants, who shared their experiences in Japan, with guests.